It’s the last idea in Vannevar Bush’s list of principles to guide science policy and it is enshrined in law but it is really an observation of a fundamental conflict, the conflict between the interests of scientists and the interests of the public. The balance between these two communities is dynamic, we make adjustments as the needs of society change but at the same time, the heads of science agencies are responsible to the citizenry and must behave that way.
The principle is illustrated by the story of Allen V Astin, the Director of the National Bureau of Standards in the 1950s and the father of a well known comedic actor of the 1960s.
And our cast slowly returns. Rohit from IT is back from his term of public service and the 8 year old entrepreneur Maddie finds her way to Washington.